Five Questions on the 2011 Texas Commits

LonghornDigest.com had five questions with Regional Recruiting Manager Greg Powers about the 2011 commitments.

LonghornDigest.com: San Antonio native Mykkele Thompson is an interesting prospect in that he'll probably get asked to make the switch to defense once he gets to Austin. How does he project as a defensive back?

Greg Powers: "This is one of the things about recruiting that gets very interesting to me. It gets tough to project a guy who isn't really playing defensive back when he's predominately a wide receiver. What you have to look at is his athleticism, his hip movement, his ability to stay low in and out of breaks. But you can't look at his natural feel for the position, whether he's an aggressive defensive back. So there are things you can't tell. A positive sign (with Thompson) is his ability to make special plays on special teams. On punt returns and kick returns, he's fearless. He'll come down and make a hit in coverage as well. From that standpoint, you can envision him as a defensive player some. But you still almost have to rank him as a receiver because that's the position he really played. If we were to rank him on defense, his ranking might suffer some. That's interesting because he's somebody that I think might see their ranking rise a bit after the season because he performs well at his natural receiver position."

LD: Obviously one of the most important positions in any class is at quarterback. What have been your impressions of David Ash?

GP: "David Ash is a guy that has me up and down on him all the time. I'm super impressed with what the kid can do underneath the Friday night lights in a game situation. He's consistent, puts up solute numbers and can beat you with his arm or he can pull it down and beat you on the ground. But when we saw him live, there were a lot of things he could improve on. That's why you saw him drop from a four star to a three star before the season, after we were able to see him in comparison to other Elite 11 QBs. But after the first few games of 2010, he made it look like a decision that we needed to think about longer, with the way he went out and performed like he did. He's right there on that line of either a three star or a four star. He's at the highest level of a three star or a low Scout 300 player, and he could go either way."

LD: The Longhorns needed to make a splash in the trenches, and they currently have six commitments on the offensive line. What do you think of the Longhorn line class?

GP: "I love it. Right off the bat, the kid you think of is the one not from Texas, Christian Westerman. They were able to steal him away from the Pac-10 schools, and that was a big one. He's a nationally recruited guy, our No. 1 offensive guard in the country. Then, to go and pair him with an in-state guy like Sedrick Flowers, he's somebody that some schools thought was athletic enough to play defensive tackle. So you have two guards capable of stepping in and providing depth right away. Garrett Greenlea is a five-star tackle, but he tore his ACL and will miss out on some valuable experience this year. Still he's talented and big, and there are other guys in this class who can fill in as well."

LD: Who would you consider to be the sleeper player in Texas' class?

GP: "That's really hard to say because your class has a 4.0 average rating. That means your whole class averages out to a Scout 300 level player. Thompson could be a sleeper because it's hard to say which position he'll fit at. Somebody who isn't getting a lot of run in terms of discussion, but it's not really fair to call him a sleeper because he has a good ranking, is Joe Bergeron. He's always performed well. You watch his tape and he's a big kid who plays hard. Maybe he makes some big touchdowns in his career at Texas. He's the type of player you could line up in a key situation on the goal line and pound him up the middle. He's the type you see Texas giving the ball to in those situations. He can be a sleeper type of guy because he's not as talked about as somebody like a Malcolm Brown."

LD: Who is the crown jewel at this point?

GP: "It's definitely Malcolm Brown. He's the No. 1 running back in the country right now. He also has a great chance to come in and make a big impact right away, based on what they have at running back. He's probably the biggest commitment from a standpoint that he might have the biggest impact. If you look at guys like Mike Davis and Jackson Jeffcoat, those guys were two of the highest rated guys in Texas' class last year. So Mack Brown isn't afraid to put freshmen out there and let them earn their stripes."


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